We noted last week that WPP boss Sir Martin Sorrell (left) had been uncharacteristically quiet of late but this morning he’s bounced back; telling the BBC that companies like Google aren’t really tech companies – ‘engineers’ as he put it – but media owners as they control the content of their ‘pipes’ as well as the infrastructure.
So they ought to take responsibility for what they transmit – or broadcast – just like the BBC does.
This is the last thing that Google wants to hear as it gets a kicking from all sides for its craven cow-towing to the US National Security Agency (and Britain’s GCHQ eavesdropping behemoth) over allowing access to supposedly confidential information.
The Mail on Sunday also waded in at the weekend; purporting to show how an innocent search (for ‘Facebook video of..’ so it’s clearly a bigger problem for Facebook) produced all sorts of nasty and illegal options.
A clearly exasperated Simon Jack from the BBC (who’s clearly aware that Google isn’t a bit like the BBC – he doesn’t get free lunches) demanded to know how Google and Facebook could possibly check all this stuff.
Sorrell replied airily that they made loads of money so of course they could afford it.
Good to see SMS back in his celebrated ‘bully pulpit.’